Creating your reusable tote from this cut and sew template (Reusable Tote Template) is so fun and easy! You can fill in the bag pattern pieces with whatever image, pattern, photo, or color you want so you can customize the design of this project however you want!
I opened the PDF file in Photoshop to add my images to the template, since I needed to resize my image and cut it into slices to fit in the pattern pieces. I started with a photograph that I took of some flowers that had fallen off a bush in front of my house (mixed with some shoots of wild onion and rosemary to create a cute little collage). I selected the parts of the image that I wanted to use and pasted them onto the template, then saved the file as a .jpg and uploaded it to my Spoonflower account. This template is laid out to print on the Linen Cotton Canvas fabric at 54” wide, so I chose 1 yard of that fabric for a perfect fit.
I love the way the detail and dimension of the photograph translated to the fabric, and once I got my printed pattern I was so excited that I was able to skip the step of pinning each pattern piece to the fabric and cutting it out - that step is already done! Just cut your pattern out along the black lines.
Once all the pieces are cut out, follow the instructions that came printed on the fabric. First, pin the front and back of the bag together, right sides facing, along the sides and bottom. Sew along the seam allowance (or if you covered up your seam allowance lines with your image like I did, they were marked at ½” around the edges of the bag). Once sewn, I also pressed under the top edge of the bag.
Next, I prepared the inside facing piece by pressing it under ¼” on either side, lengthwise, then sew along the short edge (at ½” seam allowance) to form a loop.
Now to prepare the straps - there are two short handles and a long shoulder strap. For all three, press under the ¼” seam allowance along each long edge of each strap, then fold each strap in half lengthwise. Pin and sew along the open edge of each strap.
Almost done! Pin the inside facing piece along the top inside edge of the bag, lining up the facing seam at one of the bag side seams. Now pin the straps to the top of the bag, sandwiched between the inside facing layer and the inside of the bag.
Each end of the long shoulder strap should be pinned in at a side seam. For the short handles, measure 4 inches from each side seam and pin either end of one of your short handles. Repeat for the other side of the bag.
Now that the handles are pinned in, the last step is to sew along the top edge of the bag to secure all of the layers. Make sure to use a sturdy needle for this step as you’ll be sewing through four layers of canvas where the straps are sandwiched in. Sew along the bottom edge of the facing as well - one inch down from the top of your bag.
This will encase the ends of your straps and help reinforce the straps and side seams. Now my custom tote bag is all set to go shopping!